The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement is the automatic or default form of tenancy for most residential lets. What defines this type of tenancy is the fact that the Landlord has a right to get their property back at the end of the tenancy.
An AST will generally run for between six months’ and three years. Now, you may think that as the academic year is approximately nine months’ long that is the perfect length of tenancy for you. The idea being that you move back home for the summer and then rent a new place (or even the same place if the Landlord has had no luck) in September. This doesn’t work for Landords. In areas with a large student population Landlords will usually insist on a minimum twelve month term to avoid the risk of their property being left empty over the summer months.
You will normally be asked if you wish to renew your tenancy about ten months’ into your initial term as this is the latest date when the section 48 (notice to quit) can be served on you. Just because you have been served a section 48 does not mean that the Landlord wants you to leave. It is more likely to mean that if you want to stay they will insist that you sign up for a further twelve months’.